Manataka American Indian Council

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How the Earth Protects Your Cardiovascular System – Part One

Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C.


(Dr. Sinatra is an integrative Connecticut cardiologist with nearly forty years of clinical experience.  He lectures widely on integrative cardiology, and the advantages of using both conventional medical treatments and complementary nutritional, anti-aging, and psychological therapies. He is the author or co-author of a dozen books, including “Earthing” and “The Great Cholesterol Myth,” and is host of the website).



In decades of medical practice I repeatedly saw sick patients whose conditions could often be traced back to lifestyle errors such as eating poorly and too much, shirking physical activity, and mishandling the challenges and stresses of life.  They had abandoned Nature in many ways and were paying the price in terms of physical suffering. Applied to society as a whole, such abandonment of Nature is pretty much the norm these days and the cost of it in terms of medical repair is staggering. 


Among the abandoned connections with Nature is the widely overlooked connection with our electrodynamic planet. Just as electrical systems throughout the world are stabilized by “ground,” that is, the electrical connection to the ground, so, too, the body’s complex machinery is similarly stabilized by the ground.  We are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.


In three previous monthly articles about Earthing (also known as grounding) on this website, you have learned how sustained physical barefoot contact with the ground outside or bare skin contact with specially-conductive grounding systems indoors serve to maintain a healthy body and help heal an ailing body.  


Research to prove this surprising health connection is in the early stages. However, the evidence so far is of a landmark magnitude and the feedback from doctors and individuals around the world indicates something very special occurs when we hook-up with Mother Earth: restoration of a natural electrical state within our bodies, reduction of inflammation and pain, better sleep and energy, and a lessening of stress.


In the March article on Earthing, I mentioned in passing the significant promise for my field of cardiology, and specifically for arterial disease, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, and diabetes, both preventively and therapeutically.  Now, in a two-part article (the second installment to appear next month) I would like to share more details about the promise of the planet itself to impact the No. 1 disease killer on the planet – cardiovascular disease.


Earthing as a Natural Blood Thinner

You don’t have to be a doctor to understand the importance of good flowing blood that’s able to pass through thousands of miles of tiny blood vessels to service all the nooks and crannies of your body.  Viscosity is a term we cardiologists use that refers to the water and solid content of plasma and how well, or not so well, the blood flows through this system. Thick, sludgy blood doesn’t move through efficiently to deliver the goods and carry out the wastes. Cells and tissues underperform that are thus underserved. They become more vulnerable to toxicity and inflammation.  I have always told my patients I want to see blood like the consistency of flowing wine, not sludgy like ketchup. 


Thick blood is inflamed blood, predisposing you to red blood cell clumping and abnormal clotting. This is the sort of blood that I became increasingly aware of in my patients: sludgy, sticky, hypercoagulable blood that causes the heart to work harder.  Medical research associates such blood with a host of cardiovascular issues, including hypertension, smoking, lipid disorders, advancing age, and diabetes mellitus.


A few years ago I participated in a formal study with electrophysiologist Gaétan Chevalier, Ph.D., to investigate whether Earthing can affect viscosity and blood flow. 


The implications are significant, and if confirmed by subsequent research, indicate that connection with the Earth’s natural electrical charge and surface electrons can promote desirable blood electrodynamics, and specifically better blood flow.   


Hope for Diabetes

The implications are indeed significant.  Diabetes is a global scourge of pain, suffering, and premature death that kills an estimated 3.4 million people a year.  The disease is alarmingly prevalent and devastating among the American Indian population.


Diabetes contributes to arterial and nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, poor circulation, foot ulcers, lower limb pain and numbness, weakness in hands and feet, kidney disease, and vision problems. 


A healthy diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a normal body weight are widely promoted to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease (90 percent of cases).  Overlooked in all this is the human disconnect from the Earth’s natural surface charge.  I strongly believe it represents a major missing link. 


Reconnection, according to the emerging Earthing research, appears to offer protection in a number of significant ways:


• Reduction of inflammation, a main component of diabetes (and most common diseases).  

• Electrical stability in the body

• Calming the nervous system

Aiding Glucose Control

• Improved zeta potential and blood flow


I’d like to expand on the last point because it is not widely discussed in the medical establishment. A fascinating 2008 study from the University of Calcutta reported for the first time on the zeta potential of red blood cells in diabetics. The researchers described a disturbing, progressive deterioration of zeta potential, most pronounced among diabetics with cardiovascular disease. There was a strong relationship between poorer zeta potential and hypercoagulability. 


“Blood becomes sludge so that it becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to pump, and the system becomes less efficient to perform the usual functions,” they said. 


A few years earlier, these same Indian researchers reported that high blood sugar causes oxidative damage to red blood cells and hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the molecule in blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and then carries out carbon dioxide. In 2008, the researchers said that high blood sugar also significantly alters the electrodynamics of the cells and increases the potential for clumping. 


Our zeta potential study offers one striking explanation for how individuals with diabetes may benefit from Earthing. 


The Polish Experience

In Poland, cardiologist Karol Sokal and his neurosurgeon son Pawel have been documenting the various effects of Earthing on the physiology for more than two decades. In a conversation with them, they told me they seen “good things with diabetes.”  Among their observations: “We were able to withdraw insulin for some people because they achieved a reduction in their blood sugar just from walking barefoot. We found that in some cases the combination of medication and grounding could even push the glucose level too low.


“Imagine telling someone that if you go barefoot you may be able to reduce or withdraw your insulin…or some other medication!  Yet this is what we found.  It all depends on the level of glucose as to whether and when you can cut out the medication or reduce it.  With oral medication, we observed that some people with diabetes could walk barefoot and not need anti-diabetic drugs like Metformin.”

One of the Polish doctors’ experiments with blood sugar showed that continuous Earthing for three days and two nights was enough to decrease the level of glucose in patients with diabetes.  The result was on the basis of twelve volunteers, six of them grounded. Further research with more people would be needed to see at what point sustained grounding could achieve a decrease in glucose enough to recommend that a doctor reduce the medication dosage.


“Perhaps a minimum of three nights may be enough for some people,” the doctors said. 


The Australian Experience

David Richards, an integrative family physician in New South Wales, Australia, shared the following details: 


“During more than thirty years as a general practitioner I’ve never had anything to offer patients for diabetic neuropathy. All we doctors can do is try to optimize blood sugar and control it.  But that doesn’t fix numb feet.  Earthing has changed this dilemma altogether. 

“In most cases, I have seen at least some improvement of foot numbness after an initial hour grounding session in my office where patients simply put their bare feet on an Earthing mat.  Some have not been able to come back immediately but generally improvement lasts for as long as ten days after one session. The more they do the better, though.


“One diabetic woman said that her numb feet had improved by 75 percent after that one session. After two sessions, her numbness was totally resolved. To date, the numb feet of 25 out of 25 patients are mostly resolved! 


“I now deliberately target diabetics, even those without complications.  I believe Earthing offers preventive benefit by counteracting inflammation and helping improve blood flow to all smaller vessels. 


 “The renal function of three kidney patients has returned to normal.  One had been told by a kidney specialist she would be on dialysis in three years. I started her on an Earthing program at home and when she next visited the specialist two months later she was told that perhaps she would need dialysis in five years.  When I heard from her again she said there ‘was not much to report.’ Her kidney function remains the same and if it remains stable she will probably NEVER need dialysis. The other two patients are also stable and if they continue Earthing they will likely not need dialysis either. 


“The brother-in-law of a good patient of mine reluctantly tried Earthing.  He is on dialysis. His specialist told him, ‘I don’t know what you are doing but keep doing it.’


 “I have seen diabetic eye disease stabilize in two patients.  Another, with glaucoma, reported visual improvement, ‘like cling film being lifted from in front of the television screen.’


“I find that medication needs generally are reduced after Earthing.  One patient now only takes insulin if she is lax with her diet. Another has reduced daily insulin from 80 units down to 10 or 20.



Caution: Earthing and Blood Thinning Medication

If you take Coumadin or other pharmaceutical anti-coagulants talk first to your doctor before grounding.  Earthing has a blood thinning effect, as described in this article.  The combination of medication and Earthing may possibly cause excessive thinning of the blood and an alteration of blood measurement values.


With approval from your doctor, you can start grounding minimally, with perhaps a barefoot walk in the park, or sitting barefoot in a grassy yard for an hour or so, or while watching TV in contact with an indoor Earthing product. 


Monitor blood frequently in the beginning to determine, under your physician’s supervision, whether the medication dosage may be adjusted. 


Earthing exposure can be increased gradually but with careful monitoring.

“I actually warn patients to be alert for improvement and be prepared to reduce doses of some medications, such as blood pressure, thyroid, and glucose meds, and, in particular, blood thinners.  For those on blood thinners, such as Coumadin, I do standard blood clotting checks fortnightly for about two months, and if the blood is stable, then do it monthly.  I haven’t encountered any issues.


“Medicine doesn't have many "WOW" moments. It is mainly logical thinking with little scope for being somewhat creative.  Medicine plus Earthing has provided me lately with some spectacular "WOW" moments.”


Please read the June issue of the Smoke Signal News when Dr. Sinatra discusses how Earthing helps high blood pressure and common heart arrhythmias. 


For additional information, refer to the Earthing book and the Earthing Institute website.  Earthing influences the physiology in many significant ways.  If you take prescription medication, please refer to this article on Earthing and medication. If you are under the care of a physician, consult with your doctor before starting Earthing.



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